Gauteng pupil death toll rises to 20 after two learners die

02 March 2020 - 16:49
By Yoliswa Sobuwa
Twenty children in Gauteng have died since the beginning of the year
Image: PaylessImages Twenty children in Gauteng have died since the beginning of the year

The death toll among Gauteng pupils since the beginning of the year have risen to 20 with the death of two pupils in separate incidents.

The Gauteng education department announced that a school principal died after he collapsed at school, this brings the number of teachers who have died since the beginning of this year to six.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said Fana Khoele, 54, a principal at Sebetsa -O- Tholemoputso high school in Soweto collapsed at school and he was sent home where he sadly passed away, while Zweli Dube, a grade 8 pupil, was struck by lightning on Friday when he was on his way home.

“Dube passed away a few kilometres from the school,” Mabona said.

In another incident Mthokozisi Mashiane, a 13-year-old grade 8 pupil from Springs Boys High School, committed suicide at his home on Thursday.

“It is unknown why the boy, who stayed with his grandfather, decided to take his own life. Our psycho-social unit is currently supporting the school and family with the necessary counselling,” Mabona said. Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was saddened by the news of the passing of pupils and a school principal.

“We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to the affected families and the school community on the loss of their loved ones. No words are enough to express our sorrow at the loss of a child. We hope that the family will find comfort in the knowledge that we too share their loss,” Lesufi said.

In another incident, a grade 9 Suncrest High School pupil was involved in car incident.

He was knocked down by a car and was airlifted to Union hospital in Alberton.Mabona said the department is closely monitoring the boy’s condition while police officials are currently investigating this incident.